Entry By: CJ Cooney
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susurrus catachresis limner aubergine roman-fleuve remonstrance fylfot vacuity orrery Schadenfreude harridan ribald bibulous coterie docta ignorantia usurer asperity shaggydog story jeunesse dorée obolary Weltschmertz kismet omne ignotum pro magnifico kolkhoz peregrination effluvium technocracy ambage duumvirate krill fillip
a gentle whispering sound; a soft humming sound; a soft rustling sound1911Zuleika Dobson Echoes of his boots fell from the upper stairs and met the ascending susurrus of a silk skirt. 1984The Miko...he heard nothing above the soft susurrus of the faraway traffic on Highway 70.1994The Stars Are Also FireBackground noise was a susurrus through which a gust of music would twang…
mistaken use of words; an out of context or mixed metaphor; the change in a word's meaning over time1840Olla PodridaI was going to say that he could not call his soul his own; but that would be a Catachresis, and I hate and abominate every thing which begins with CAT.1842Forest LifeIn vain is the far-sounding bell strapped round the neck of the master ox or cow, (for we say master-cow by catachresis I suppose.)1957The Midwich Cuckoos I wonder if a sillier and more ignorant catachresis than 'Mother Nature' was ever perpetrated? 1990The Mother TongueThis drift in meaning, technically called catachresis, is as widespread as it is curious.
a painter; a portrait artist1891The White Company'That is Wat the limner,' quoth the landlady, sitting down beside Alleyne, and pointing with the ladle to the sleeping man.1894The Wood Beyond the WorldHowsoever, he entered the house, and found his father in the chamber, and fell to speech with him about their matters; but for all that he loved his father, and worshipped him as a wise and valiant man, yet at that hour he might not hearken the words of his mouth, so much was his mind entangled in the thought of those three, and they were ever before his eyes, as if they had been painted on a table by the best of limners.1972The Crystal GryphonAnd it was not a pleasant countenance to my thinking, but perhaps the limner had either not been skillful or had some reason not to flatter this Elvan.
an eggplant; a shade of purple1979The Wells of HellHis face went blue, and then a hideous aubergine purple.1992The English PatientHe remembers picnics, a woman who kissed parts of his body that now are burned into the colour of aubergine.
a tremendously long novel or even longer series of books that tell the story of the life of a single person or the lives of members of a family, community, or other affiliated group1997TimequakeIf there had been a significant body of potential book-buyers who might care about rich German-Americans in Indianapolis, it would have been a piece of cake for me to bang out a roman-fleuve demonstrating that my grandfather in fact murdered my mother, albeit very slowly, by double-crossing her so long ago.1998MissionI was not God, or the Presence, or whatever you choose to call the author of this roman-fleuve.1999Vittorio the VampirePerhaps when my book is finished and gone from my hands, I may take steps to become somehow a character in that grand roman-fleuve begun by other vampires in San Francisco or New Orleans.
a protest; a complaint; a grievance1861The Gorilla Hunters'O Peterkin,' said I, in a tone of remonstrance, 'how could you be so unkind as to waken me when I had just got to sleep? Shabby fellow!' 1906The Far HorizonAll day thunder had threatened, but had not broken. And, even yet, the face of heaven seemed less peaceful than remonstrant, a sullenness holding it as of troops in retreat denied satisfaction of imminent battle.1954The Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersThey heard the gentle remonstrance of a kindly king with an erring but much-loved minister.1966Quantum of SolaceOf course Masters himself, as he was to tell me later, went through the usual dreary sequence—remonstrance, bitter quarrel, furious rage, violence (he told me he damned nearly throttled her one night) and, finally, icy withdrawal and sullen misery.
a swastika-shaped cross; gammadion1896The Non-Christian CrossAnd the crosses are of three kinds; (1) the right-angled cross of four equal arms, of which so many variations, some enclosed in circles and some with the extremities widened and rounded, are used as Christian symbols; (2) the other cross of four equal arms, known as the St. Andrew's cross or Chi cross; and (3) the Fylfot or Svastika cross.1901English VillagesThe study of the emblems and devices is full of interest. Of ecclesiastical emblems we have the symbols of the Holy Trinity—God the Father represented as an aged person, holding a crucifix on which the dove, an emblem of the Holy Spirit, is alighting—representations of our Lord, angels, saints, evangelists, the fylfot cross, roses, and figures of Death.1997Island in the Sea of TimeThey were round or oval, frames of wicker and shaped wood covered in hide and painted in gaudy shapes, the swastika-like fylfot, or animals.
the state of being vacuous; a moronic idea1882Specimen DaysThe attractions, fascinations there are in sea and shore! How one dwells on their simplicity, even vacuity!1885By Shore and Sedge 'That's it. Justifyin' yourself by works instead o' leanin' onto Him! Find Him, sez you! Git Him, sez you! Works is vain. Glory! glory!' he continued, with fluent vacuity and wandering, dull, observant eyes. 1919Spanish DoubloonsI listened to their lazy, fragmentary conversation vast gulfs of mental vacuity seemed to open before me.
a model of the solar system that often operates using clockwork-like wheels and gears and which illustrates the relative orbits of the planets around the sun1794The Age of ReasonAfter I had made myself master of the use of the globes and of the orrery, and conceived an idea of the infinity of space, and the eternal divisibility of matter, and obtained at least a general knowledge of what is called natural philosophy, I began to compare, or, as I have before said, to confront the eternal evidence those things afford with the Christian system of faith.1829The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction (December 12, 1829)The mechanical ingenuity of Mr. Crawshaw has also been displayed in the construction of an orrery consisting of at least 1,000 wheels, which, by a single winch, turns all the planets in their respective periods…1897A Trip to Venus'We must consider their relative distances from the earth. By the way, I don't think you have seen my new electrical orrery.'1988CradleThe bright orb, the size of a giant beach ball, lifted itself into its proper place in the orrery and flooded the entire room with its radiance.
pleasure or delight in the misfortune or misery of others1989Spy LineIt was no use showing anger. No one was exempt from Tessa's Schadenfreude.1994Debt of HonorThe American economy would be twice blessed. Toss in a little schadenfreude for their Japanese colleagues, and even before the Street opened for business, people were primed for a big trading day.1996Goebbels 'Any observations must be sober and objective in tenor,' his third directive that day added, 'devoid of either triumph or Schadenfreude.' 1999Canadian SayingsThis Shaudenfreude bristles in many Canadian folk sayings and is the psychological motive force that drives people to create them.
a woman characterized by nastiness and bad-temper1846Poor FolkCrowds of people were hurrying along Naberezhnaia Street, with faces that looked strange and dejected. There were drunken peasants; snub-nosed old harridans in slippers; bareheaded artisans; cab drivers; every species of beggar; boys; a locksmith's apprentice in a striped smock, with lean, emaciated features which seemed to have been washed in rancid oil; an ex-soldier who was offering penknives and copper rings for sale; and so on, and so on.1899Stalky and Co'It was at the beginning of this hot weather. I was in camp in the Jullunder doab and stumbled slap on Stalky in a Sikh village; sitting on the one chair of state, with half the population grovellin' before him, a dozen Sikh babies on his knees, an old harridan clappin' him on the shoulder, and a garland o' flowers round his neck. Told me he was recruitin'.1952Cloak of AesirThere was a hint of bitter defeat in their tones, for each had hoped that field that could not be screened might make them safe in disposing of the old harridan, the Immortal Sam Mother, who ruled them from a forgotten generation.
wanton or outrageous1916Rainbow's EndDon Mario de Castano, who was facing the door, stopped in the midst of a ribald song to cry: 'God be praised! What's this I see?'1926Lud In the Mist...behind them seethed the noisy, impudent, hawking, cat-calling riff-raff—'prentices, sailors, pedlars, strumpets; showing clearly on what side were their sympathies by such ribald remarks as, 'My old granny's pet cockatoo is terrible fond of cherries…1991Terminal Compromise1985's high point was an award banquet with slightly ribald speeches.
a person who enjoys drinking; an alcoholic1890Hedda GablerWhen the play appeared, Holm recognised himself with glee in the character of the bibulous man of letters, and thereafter adopted 'Eilert Lovborg' as his pseudonym.1916The Power-HouseThis case was distinguished from the common ruck by the higher social standing of the accused. Generally the spy is a photographer or bagman who attempts to win the bibulous confidence of minor officials.1950Mr. Midshipman Hornblower'To hell with care,' repeated the bibulous voice in the corner, and lifted itself in song.
a small social circle; a literary clique1870Anna Karenina'On one side it's a plaything; they play at being a parliament, and I'm neither young enough nor old enough to find amusement in playthings; and on the other side' (he stammered) 'it's a means for the coterie of the district to feather their nests.'1975The Coming of the HorseclansAnd that perverted, self-seeking coterie who had influenced and guided him were stunned to discover that no longer had this High Lord need or use for them…1976The Children of DuneA tall, slender Priest was addressing his coterie, no doubt supplicants here under his auspices.1996BasquiatOn the other side of the room, Rene Ricard is surrounded by a coterie of young, mostly BLACK AND HISPANIC MALES.
learned ignorance; the concept that knowledge is not important when seeking God1895The History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in ChristendomIn the latter, Whewell cites the exact words of De Cusa in the De Docta Ignorantia, and sums up in these words: 'This train of thought might be a preparation for the reception of the Copernican system; but it is very different from the doctrine that the sun is the centre of the planetary system.'1904A History of ScienceHis De Docta Ignorantia expressly propounds the doctrine of the earth's motion. No one, however, paid the slightest attention to his suggestion, which, therefore, merely serves to furnish us with another interesting illustration of the futility of propounding even a correct hypothesis before the time is ripe to receive it—particularly if the hypothesis is not fully fortified by reasoning based on experiment or observation.2003Docta Ignorantia, American Style[book title] Docta Ignorantia, American Style: The Institutionalized 'Learned Ignorance' in the Information Age
a money lender; a person or organization that lends money at an outrageous interest rate1889The Coming of the Friars'I loved the maid, and desired to be rich,' he tells us; but these Puritan people were horrified at his deliberately intending to live the life of a usurer, and they 'threatened great judgments, and danger of damnation hereafter.'1891The ScapegoatWhen the three old usurers had bought themselves out of the Kasbah, they put their heads together and said, 'Let us drive this fellow out of the Mellah, and so shall he be driven out of the town.'
ill temper; a bump; harshness; severity1815Emma'Not Harriet's equal!' exclaimed Mr. Knightley loudly and warmly; and with calmer asperity, added, a few moments afterwards,'No, he is not her equal indeed, for he is as much her superior in sense as in situation.'1890The Reign of TiberiusFor these his assumed manners and foreign habit, Tiberius blamed him in a gentle style, but censured him with great asperity for violating an establishment of Augustus, and entering Alexandria without consent of the Prince.1915Red FleeceWhat do you want? she asked, though not quite with the original asperity.1976Last Day in LimboHe lifted his head and said with asperity…
sha-gee DAWG stor-ee
a long story that’s humorous to the speaker but strikes the listener as boring and stupid1968A Gift From Earth'The luck of Matt Keller.' A joke, a shaggy-dog story. If he hadn't used the power to 'rescue' Polly, she might be alive now. If he hadn't come running to Jay Hood for explanations, he'd be back tending his mining worms. No wonder this form of 'luck' had never appeared before. Perhaps it never would again.1981Time Travellers Strictly CashIt was Tall Tales Night at Callahan's, the night on which the teller of the most outrageous shaggy-dog story gets his night's tab refunded.1987BluebeardI myself haven't been in there since. And, yes, there is something in there. This is no shaggy dog story. After I die and am buried next to my darling Edith, and the executors of my estate open those doors at last, they will find more than just thin air in there. And it won't be some pathetic symbol, such as a paintbrush broken in two or my Purple Heart on an otherwise vacant and clean-swept floor.
young jet set persons; wealthy, sophisticated young people1880Life of CiceroAs to this, it is necessary to understand Pompey's peculiar popularity at the moment, both with the Liberals and with the Conservatives. 'Above all, see that you have with you the 'jeunesse dorée.'1915History of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814The convention, after the fall of Robespierre; party of the committees; Thermidorian party; their constitution and object—Decay of the democratic party of the committees—Impeachment of Lebon and Carrier—State of Paris—The Jacobins and the Faubourgs declare for the old committees; the jeunesse dorée, and the sections for the Thermidorians—Impeachment of Billaud-Varennes, Collot-d'Herbois, Barrère, and Vadier—Movement of Germinal—Transportation of the accused, and of a few of the Mountain, their partisans—Insurrection of the 1st Prairial—Defeat of the democratic party; disarming of the Faubourgs—The lower class is excluded from the government, deprived of the constitution of '93, and loses its material power.1927A Search for AmericaWe were surrounded by the 'jeunesse dorée' of a very definite fraction of New York's commercial world.
a state of extreme poverty1913The Works of Charles and Mary LambHe is the true taxer who 'calleth all the world up to be taxed:' and the distance is as vast between him and one of us, as subsisted betwixt the Augustan Majesty and the poorest obolary Jew that paid it tribute—pittance at Jerusalem!—His exactions, too, have such a cheerful, voluntary air!
Labels: Charles Lamb
the state of being world-weary; sadness caused by the ongoing tribulations of the world; pessimism over the future of mankind1891Peter Ibbetson Often the inquisitive passer-by, had he peeped through the blinds of No.—Wharton Street, Pentonville, late at night, would have been rewarded by the touching spectacle of a huge, rawboned ex-private in her Majesty's Life Guards, with his head bowed over the black and yellow key-board of a venerable square piano-forte (on which he could not play), dropping the bitter tear of loneliness and Weltschmertz combined. 1923Lights...the pessimism of old thinkers does not take the form of idle talk, as it does with you and me, but of Weltschmertz, of suffering…
fate; fortune; destiny1921The Shadow of the East'It's rotten luck for you, Sheik, but it's kismet. All things are ordained,' he concluded almost shyly, feeling himself the worst kind of Job's comforter.1986Cobra StrikeIt's come into Anglic through a couple of different languages and changes to become 'kismet,' meaning 'fate' or 'destiny.'1993Sleepless in SeattleINT. THIRD FLOOR TIFFANY'S - DAY Annie and Walter are walking around the floor, followed by a SALESWOMAN who is carrying a large white card on which she is noting their selections. ANNIE It was like kismet but not, if you see what I mean.
omne ignotum pro magnifico
awm-nee ig-NO-tum pro mawg-NI-fi-ko
that which is unknown is exaggerated in importance; the unknown is thought to be grand1831Thoughts on Man One of the most glaring infirmities of our nature is discontent. One of the most unquestionable characteristics of the human mind is the love of novelty. Omne ignotum pro magnifico est. 1864The Roman and the Teuton The usual rejoinder to this argument is to fall back upon man's weakness and ignorance, and to take refuge in the infinite unknown. Man, it is said, may of course interfere a little with some of the less important laws of his being: but who is he, to grapple with the more vast and remote ones? Because he can prevent a pebble from falling, is he to suppose that he can alter the destiny of nations, and grapple forsooth with 'the eternities and the immensities,' and so forth? The argument is very powerful: but addrest rather to the imagination than the reason. It is, after all, another form of the old omne ignotum pro magnifico…1891Gasps (Punch Vol. 100, May 1891)And over everything hangs that inscrutable charm which hovers forever for the human intellect over the incomprehensible and shadowy. Omne ignotum pro mirifico, I might say, but I prefer the longer phrase.1892The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 'I begin to think, Watson,' said Holmes, 'that I make a mistake in explaining. 'Omne ignotum pro magnifico,' you know, and my poor little reputation, such as it is, will suffer shipwreck if I am so candid….'
a collective farm in the old communist Soviet Union1963One Day in the Life of Ivan DenisoThe kolkhoz had a new chairman…2005American press makes ridiculous comments about post Soviet states (Pravda, February 12, 2005)...the true essence of the dictator 'in a sport suit giving speeches like head of a kolkhoz'.
travel; a journey by foot1831PalestineFrom his infancy he had been distinguished by a sage and pious disposition; and, on emerging from boyhood, he was seized with an anxious desire to 'try the unknown ways of peregrination—to pass over the huge wastes of ocean to the ends of the earth.'1893Life and Travels of Mungo Park in Central AfricaDuring a wearisome peregrination of more than five hundred British miles, exposed to the burning rays of a tropical sun, these poor slaves, amidst their own infinitely greater sufferings, would commiserate mine; and frequently of their own accord bring water to quench my thirst, and at night collect branches and leaves to prepare me a bed in the Wilderness.1905The Beautiful LadyThe peregrination of the American trousers suddenly stopped as they caught sight of me, and that precious skirt paused, precisely in opposition to my little table.1908YorkshireThe many interests that this singularly remote neighbourhood contains can be realized by making such a peregrination as we made through the Wolds.1919Nomads of the NorthThen came the day, when Neewa was eleven weeks old, that she turned her nose toward the distant black forests and began the summer's peregrination.1998A Walk in the WoodsI can't find one [friend] that will bear the fatigue to accompany me in my paregrinations.
a terrible smell; a bad influence; a noxious vapor1967The Cloud-Sculptors of Coral DShe glanced at the dark cloud boiling over the mesa like the effluvium of some black-hearted volcano.1989Prison ShipYtram had little experience with alien life forms and the strange, pungent, and often wildly sharp odors, smells, gases, and effluvium their bodies cast off with alarming pressure and quantity.1994Snow Falling On CedarsThe gutters filled with rust-colored pine needles and the pungent effluvium of alder leaves…
a government by technical experts and scientists1935It Can'T Happen Here...the 'Share the Wealth' and 'Every Man a King' proposals of the late Hon. Huey Long to assure every family $5000 a year, the Townsend plan, the Utopian plan, Technocracy, and all competent schemes of unemployment insurance…1970Future ShockJust as, in the main, their alternatives to industrialism call for a return to pre-industrial institutions, their alternative to technocracy is not post- but pre-technocracy.1982Renegade Agent...the world was becoming a technocracy, a society managed by the technical experts.
roundabout; ambiguous; not forthright; a circuitous route1652The Anatomy of MelancholyHaving thus briefly anatomised the body and soul of man, as a preparative to the rest; I may now freely proceed to treat of my intended object, to most men's capacity; and after many ambages, perspicuously define what this melancholy is, show his name and differences.1943Doc Savage: The Running Skeletons'Only a sesquipedalian ambagious inveteberate lacks convulition,' said Johnny.
a two person partnership; a government body comprised of two persons1863A Popular History of IrelandHe dwells on the peculation and extravagance of the administration, under 'the Duumvirate' of the Viceroy and the Primate, which he compares with the league of Strafford and Laud.1908Ancient China SimplifiedThe year 842 B.C. may be considered the first accurate date in Chinese history, and in this year the Emperor had to flee from his capital on account of popular dissatisfaction with his tyrannical ways: he betook himself northward to an outlying settlement on the Tartar frontier, and the charge of imperial affairs was taken over by a regency or duumvirate.1922UlyssesOf what did the duumvirate deliberate during their itinerary?
small crustaceans; planktonic crustaceans1978Hungry as the SeaDuring the long voyage up from Shackleton Bay, Samantha had streamed a very fine-meshed net from Warlock's stern, collecting an incredible variety of krill and plankton and other microscopic marine life.1984New Rose HotelI spread crab-flavored krill paste on orange rice crackers.1999Atlantis FoundWithout the algae to dine on, there would be no krill, the little shrimplike fellows, who in turn provide nourishment for every animal and fish in these southern waters from penguins to whales to phocids.
a blow or flick resulting from the sudden release of a finger curled against the thumb; something trivial; something of no consequence1832Newton Forster This was quite an event, and gave a fillip to the inertness of Madame de Fontanges, whose curiosity was excited. 1880The Kasidah of Haji Abdu El-YezdiEat, drink, and sport; the rest of life's not worth a fillip, quoth the King; Methinks the saying saith too much: the swine would say the selfsame thing!1902The Puppet CrownMaurice contemplated him serenely. 'Impossible,' with a fillip at the end of his cigar.1968Clutch of ConstablesA handful of nice little facts and a fillip to the imagination.